Friday, February 22, 2008

Most Effective Diabetes Diet Plan

I am a diabetic (type 2) who has been searching for an effective diabetes diet plan for many years. I wanted to share my research, what I've discovered, and what is working for me.


As we all know, any effective diabetes diet plan has to include eating small, low glycemic foods several times per day to both control blood sugar and eliminate rapid blood sugar changes throughout the day. To do this, I have previously tried the SouthBeach and Atkins diets. However, both left me feeling deprived, irritable, jittery, and also left me with significant mental fog.


A friend of mine tried Medifast and I agreed to give it a look, only because he assured me that it included a decent amount of carbs and snacks. However, it was the John Hopkins study which indicated that random participants on Medifast lost twice as much weight and (and stuck with their diets twice as often) as participants on the ADA (American Diabetes Association) diet plan that really got my interest. (Link to this study below.) I've been on the ADA diet plan as well and it's not a picnic.


The program's diabetes diet plan that taste pretty darn decent and leaves me feeling like myself. Basically I chose five small meals from the plan's foods and then I prepare one main meal (which is called "lean and green" by Medifast. The lean and green meal is essentially lean protein and vegetables. The program is easy to follow because it's easy to get in a grove since you learn pretty quickly what choices are available.


My typical day on Medifast includes scrambled eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, a cappuccino or latte for a mid morning snack, chili, soup or stew for lunch, a bar or shake for an afternoon snack, my lean and green meal for dinner and a nightcap of a fruit smoothie (which I make from the fruit drink with ice in a blender).


I have had to lower my insulin as my levels have come way down on this diet. And I've lost almost 40 pounds. I hope this helps.


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Natural Cure For Diabetes

For many people, diabetes is a way of life. Someone suffering with diabetes is always on the lookout for a better way to deal with the diabetes. One way to deal with diabetes is to go all natural. There are a variety of natural cures for diabetes that can be very effective. However, no matter what route you take, it is always important to keep a close eye on your sugar levels to make sure they are staying within a healthy range.


Foods to Avoid


There are a variety of foods that can actually make diabetes worse. They should be avoided if possible or eaten in moderation. Foods which are high in sugar, such as syrup, cakes, cookies, ice cream, sweets, regular soft drinks as well as many others can make your diabetes considerable worse. As a diabetic, it is also important to avoid all processed foods. You should also reduce your intake of white flour and white sugar. It is also important that you do not drink any alcohol when you have an empty stomach. If you drink alcohol on an empty stomach, it can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.


Foods You Should Consume


If you are looking for a natural cure for diabetes, you will want to be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Foods such as fruits, vegetables and natural grains are highly recommended. In most instances, raw vegetables are better for your body than cooked ones. This is simply because cooking the vegetables can deplete some of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are naturally found in the raw vegetables.


Vitamins That Will Help


Natural forms of supplements can be very useful to the body. One supplement that can help improve your insulin sensitivity is Magnesium. Vitamins C and E are also very beneficial for anyone suffering from diabetes. You should avoid vitamin B, as it can interfere with the natural absorption of insulin by the cells. Chromium, which can naturally be found in mushrooms, whole grains, seeds, brewer's yeast and corn oil, is also essential for anyone with diabetes.


Other Natural Cures


Another natural cure for diabetes is exercise. It is important that you control your weight, in order to also control your diabetes. Anytime you exercise, you are improving your body's ability to respond to insulin. Before you begin any type of exercise routine, you will want to be sure to consult with your doctor. Exercise such as walking, swimming and a light game are all excellent forms of exercising. Yoga is also very beneficial for anyone with diabetes as it helps to lower stress levels tremendously.


There are a variety of natural cures for diabetes. However, before you begin any type of regimen you will want to consult with your doctor. You will also want to monitor your blood sugar levels on a regular basis. Natural cures for diabetes can be very beneficial; you just need to make sure that you find a way that will work well with you and your body.


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Link Between Blood Iron Levels And Diabetes

It is well known that people with a condition called hemochromatosis, where the body absorbs and accumulates unusually high amounts of iron, are at a greater risk of developing diabetes. Recent medical research however suggests that there may be a link between iron levels and diabetes even among people that do not suffer from hemochromatosis.


A 2004 study published in the American Medical Association involving over 32,000 women found that those with high levels of iron in their bodies were as much as three times more likely to develop diabetes than women with low iron levels.


A separate 2006 study found that women with high intakes of a type of iron known as heme, found mainly in meat, had a 28% higher risk of type-2 diabetes than those with a low intake. The study found no association between intake of the non-heme variety of iron and diabetes. Sources rich in non-heme iron include tofu, soybeans, spinach, potatoes and cashew nuts.


A third Finnish study of over 1000 men aged between 42 and 60 found that men with high iron stores were 2.4 times more likely to get diabetes compared to men with lower stores.


The findings raise the possibility that a simple iron blood test could determine whether an individual is at an increased risk of developing diabetes.


It is thought that iron may raise diabetes risk by increasing free radical production which increases inflammation levels n the body, possibly damaging the pancreas which is responsible for insulin production. Another possibility is that high iron levels cause cells to gradually become resistant to insulin, thus reducing the ability of insulin to reduce blood sugar levels.


The research suggests that both men and women considered at risk of developing diabetes should avoid iron supplements and consider limiting red meat consumption to a maximum of 2-3 servings a week.


While iron is an essential mineral in the body and is needed to prevent anemia, excess iron has been linked to various other diseases in the past such as an increased risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease, liver damage, some forms of cancer and even Parkinson's disease.


The current recommended daily intake (RDA) for iron is 8 milligrams a day for men and post-menopausal women while the RDA for pre-menopausal women is 18 milligrams. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, most men generally exceed the RDA for iron although some women consume slightly less than the RDA.


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Diabetic Complications - Minimize Complications with Diet

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the beta cells of the pancreas i.e. islets of langerhans are not able to produce a sufficient amount of insulin to avert hyperglycemia.


Type 1 diabetes i.e. IDDM (insulin dependent diabetes mellitus) is generally caused by auto-immune destruction of the pancreatic beta cells that produce protein insulin. There is no known preventative measure that can be used against type 1 diabetes i.e. IDDM (insulin dependent diabetes mellitus), as most people affected are other wise healthy when onset occurs. Diabetic diet and exercise can not overturn or prevent this category of diabetes. While this type of diabetes mellitus can affect both children as well as adults, it has a nickname of 'juvenile diabetes' because the preponderant cases are found in children.


Type 2 diabetes i.e. NIDDM (non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus) is a tissue-wide insulin resistance that occurs due to an amalgamation of defective insulin secretion and insulin resistance. It is generally first treated by attempts to change physical activity like diabetic diet and weight loss. These measures can restore insulin sensitivity, allowing type 2 diabetics to recover satisfactory glucose control for years.


Both type 1 and 2 diabetes are incurable chronic conditions. Though, they have been treatable ever since insulin became medically accessible and are usually managed today with a combination of diabetic diet and lifestyle management.


Diabetes mellitus causes many complications in its victims. Acute complications may occur if the disease is not looked over and forbidden adequately enough. Serious long-term complications including cardiovascular disease, chronic renal failure, retinal damage, nerve damage, and micro vascular damage, which may lead to erectile dysfunction and poor healing, are often a result of in-adequate treatment of this disease. However, sufficient treatment of diabetes, along with an increased watch on blood pressure control, following of diabetic diet and lifestyle factors, may improve the risk profile of the above mentioned complications.


Many diabetics have trouble controlling their blood sugar levels. Even those who exercise frequently are still puzzled about what and how much they should be eating. The longer you deal with diabetes mellitus, the easier it will become for you to handle the disease.


Although regulating your blood sugar can be complicated, it is not unfeasible. There are many variables that affect blood sugar, including mood, stress, and infection, illness, and sleep turmoil. Because blood sugar regulation isn't an exact science, you should meet with your doctor or dietician regularly to plan a diabetic diet customized especially for you.


Be sure to ask them questions, let them know your routine and check in with your doctor to let him or her know your development along with any problems you may be meeting.


It is an excellent idea to keep a food journal in which you document the kinds of foods you eat along with the serving sizes and your after-meal blood sugar levels plus any other helpful in turn your doctor may need.


Visiting with an herbalist or alternative care doctor could be a good idea also. They will be able to tell you with vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements, and alternative treatments that may help ease your symptoms.


There are many cook books that give guidelines on serving sizes for diabetics. They also suggest diabetic diets that are good for you. There are also a lot of new programs that help diabetic patients to plan their diets (diabetic diet) and calculate the amount of food to eat.


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Diabetes and Weight Loss

Being overweight or obese (especially when the fat is in the abdomen) increases the body's insulin needs, and losing this extra weight can significantly improve diabetes control. Often the weight loss can eliminate the need for medications altogether. You do not have to lose a huge amount of weight—a 5 percent loss in body weight is sufficient.


Here are some basic concepts about weight loss:


• Weight loss occurs when there is a negative energy balance. If you consume fewer kilocalories than you expend, you will lose weight. This is the principle behind all weight-loss diets, and there are no exceptions to this rule. If you reduce the number of calories you eat by about 500 kilocalories per day, you will lose about one pound in weight per week.


• Physiologically, we are designed to avoid eating too little. The mechanisms of the body evolved when there was less food available than we have now, and these mechanisms are designed to avoid weight loss. With environmental changes and the ready availability of highly dense calories (that is, lots of calories in a small portion size), it takes very little excess caloric intake on a daily basis to gain a considerable amount of weight over time. It is estimated that in the United States, over 90 percent of the weight gain seen in adults results from a positive energy balance of less than 100 kcal a day. It is very easy to get into a positive energy balance (more calories consumed than expended)—for example, a two-ounce candy bar such as Snickers has 273 kcals.


• The body's energy requirement goes down when you lose weight and as you age. About 70 percent of your energy requirement is for the basic life processes, and the other 30 percent is for activity related to eating, working, and walking. Your energy requirements go down as you age and as your weight goes down. So as you lose weight, your energy requirements fall, and you will need to reduce the number of calories you consume further for continued weight loss.


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Sexual Problems in Men with Diabetes - Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction

Sexual Problems in Men with Diabetes - Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction


Estimates of the prevalence of erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes range from 20 to 85 percent. Erectile dysfunction is a consistent inability to have an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. The condition includes the total inability to have an erection, the inability to sustain an erection, or the occasional inability to have or sustain an erection. A recent study of a clinic population revealed that 5 percent of the men with erectile dysfunction also had undiagnosed diabetes.*


Men who have diabetes are three times more likely to have erectile dysfunction as men who do not have diabetes. Among men with erectile dysfunction, those with diabetes are likely to have experienced the problem as much as 10 to 15 years earlier than men without diabetes.


In addition to diabetes, other major causes of erectile dysfunction include high blood pressure, kidney disease, alcoholism, and blood vessel disease. Erectile dysfunction may also occur because of the side effects of medications, psychological factors, smoking, and hormonal deficiencies.


If you experience erectile dysfunction, talking to your doctor about it is the first step in getting help. Your doctor may ask you about your medical history, the type and frequency of your sexual problems, your medications, your smoking and drinking habits, and other health conditions. A physical exam and laboratory tests may help pinpoint causes. Your blood glucose control and hormone levels will be checked. The doctor may also ask you whether you are depressed or have recently experienced upsetting changes in your life. In addition, you may be asked to do a test at home that checks for erections that occur while you sleep.


Treatments for erectile dysfunction caused by nerve damage, also called neuropathy, vary widely and range from oral pills, a vacuum pump, pellets placed in the urethra, and shots directly into the penis, to surgery. All these methods have strengths and drawbacks. Psychotherapy to reduce anxiety or address other issues may be necessary. Surgery to implant a device to aid in erection or to repair arteries is another option.


Retrograde Ejaculation


Retrograde ejaculation is a condition in which part or all of a man's semen goes into the bladder instead of out the penis during ejaculation. Retrograde ejaculation occurs when internal muscles, called sphincters, do not function normally. A sphincter automatically opens or closes a passage in the body. The semen mixes with urine in the bladder and leaves the body during urination, without harming the bladder. A man experiencing retrograde ejaculation may notice that little semen is discharged during ejaculation or may become aware of the condition if fertility problems arise. His urine may appear cloudy; analysis of a urine sample after ejaculation will reveal the presence of semen.


Poor blood glucose control and the resulting nerve damage are associated with retrograde ejaculation. Other causes include prostate surgery or some blood pressure medicines.


Retrograde ejaculation caused by diabetes or surgery may be improved with a medication that improves the muscle tone of the bladder neck. A urologist experienced in infertility treatments may assist with techniques to promote fertility, such as collecting sperm from the urine and then using the sperm for artificial insemination.

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Diabetes: latest studies: four ways to charge now

An estimated 14.6 million people in America, or seven percent of the population, have diabetes, primarily Type 2, reports the American Diabetes Association. Here is a look at three recent study findings that highlight how diabetes care can be improved by both caregivers and patients themselves.



A recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported that some obstacles to self-monitoring include discomfort, inconvenience, cost, difficulty doing so, and fear of "bad" results.


To address these issues, researchers divided 199 patients with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes into three groups. One group was given an 18-page color manual describing therapies, the mechanics of glucose monitoring and strategies for dealing with feelings about diabetes and blood glucose monitoring. Another group was given a glucose meter only, and a third group received usual care.


Patients in the first two groups also had a 30-minute diabetes education session. At the end of six months, patients who had received the manual were checking their glucose levels much more frequently that those in the other two groups. People with Type 1 diabetes were checking their levels an average of 3.5 times daily and those with Type 2, an average of 2.3 times per day.



Fewer than half of adults diagnosed with diabetes get the three recommended yearly medical tests they need to manage their disease, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently reported. An agency panel found that just 41.7 percent of people with diabetes had checkups during the past year for blood sugar levels, diabetic retinopathy or other diabetes-related eye damage, foot sores and foot irritation.


Only 50.1 percent said they had had one or two of the exams and 3.6 percent had no idea if they had had one. The AHRQ estimates that improved primary care could prevent some $2.5 billion per year in hospital costs caused by complications of diabetes.



A University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) study found that only 43 percent of people age 55 and older who have diabetes get medicines that could protect their heart and kidneys. Risk of heart and kidney disease are dramatically increased in people with diabetes. Both angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE) and angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARB) lower cardiovascular risk and are recommended for nearly every older person with diabetes. But after surveying 742 people with diabetes as part of the 1999 to 2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers say national rates of medication use are "disturbingly low." People with hypertension were most likely to take an ACE or ARB medication; those with kidney dysfunction or disease, or cardiovascular disease, were not. The more conditions a person had the greater the likelihood he or she would take a drug. Even so, only 53 percent of people with four or more indications for ACE or ARB use took a drug.



In a recent clinical review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine stressed that using two methods to gauge blood glucose levels is more effective than one alone. The reviewers recommend that self-monitoring of blood glucose levels, the foundation of diabetes management, be encouraged, especially in patients who use insulin. The frequency and timing of the test should depend on the patient.



Measurements of hemoglobin A1c values, which show a patient how his or her blood glucose levels are doing over a certain period of time, should be taken by a physician every six to nine months to assess the success of the treatment regimen, say the researchers.

Symptoms Of Diabetes - Learn What The Symptoms Of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes appear suddenly and may be rather severe in nature. Usually detected during childhood, type 1 diabetes may cause a serious condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, which causes vomiting, nausea and dehydration. If left untreated, symptoms become more intense and the condition may eventually lead to coma or even death.

Type 2 Diabetes

The signs of type 2 diabetes are usually subtle, often going unnoticed for many years before a blood test reveals the presence of the disease. The symptoms of diabetes may also be wrongly attributed to obesity or aging, and if not properly treated, may lead to other serious complications including heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, or permanent nerve damage.

The common symptoms of diabetes that occur with both major types of the disease include:

- Excessive urination: Excessive urination, or polyuria, occurs when the body attempts to rid the system of extra glucose through the urine. This condition may then lead to dehydration after losing large amounts of water when excreting the excess sugars.

- Excessive thirst: Excessive thirst, or polydipsia, occurs when the brain receives a signal to dilute the blood in order to deal with the extra glucose. This signal is translated as thirst by the body, which needs to consume more water to counteract the loss by the excessive urination.

- Unexplained weight loss: People with diabetes may experience weight loss even though they are taking in a normal, healthy amount of food, or even an excessive amount, as the disease affects the way the body processes calories. Dehydration and excessive urination are other symptoms that may also contribute to unexplained weight loss.

- Excessive eating: One of the functions of insulin, which is secreted to counter high levels of blood sugar, is to stimulate the appetite. Too much insulin may cause increased hunger and lead to overeating, a condition known as polyphagia.

- Fatigue: Diabetes causes the body to have difficulty processing and using glucose as a means of fuel. To compensate, the body must then work harder to metabolize fat as an alternate source of fuel, which may cause fatigue and a constant feeling of tiredness.

- Slow-healing wounds: Both oxygen and white blood cells are necessary for healing and regenerating new tissue, but when the level of sugar is too high, those cells aren't able to function normally, causing the body to be susceptible to infections and taking longer than usual to heal. Those who have had diabetes for many years may also have poor circulation, which also causes wounds to need more healing time due to a thickening of the blood vessels.

- Frequent infections: Urinary tract infections and both skin and yeast infections are symptoms of diabetes that may be the result of a suppressed immune system. Infections may also be from the extra glucose within the body's tissues, which allows bacteria to grow in excess.

- Blurry vision: While blurred vision isn't technically a symptom that's specific for either type of diabetes, it does occur frequently when blood sugar levels are abnormally high.

- Altered mental state: Symptoms of diabetes, such as confusion, agitation or irritability, may be the result of either very low levels of blood sugar, which is known as hypoglycemia, or from extremely high blood glucose levels, or hyperglycemia.
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Diabetic Foot Disease

Diabetes affects multiple areas of the body, including the feet. What are things that could happen with a diabetic foot?


Many things can happen to the body because of diabetes. Vision and kidney function can gradually worsen. There is increased risk for a heart attack and stroke because of atherosclerosis. The feet are also susceptible to damage, but they can be overlooked. The effects of diabetes in the feet are multiple and can result in later difficulties. The following is a hypothetical example to illustrate this.


Living with Diabetic Foot

Suppose a patient has diabetes that is uncontrolled because he does not consume the recommended diet and take the necessary medications. One day, he decides to take a walk outside in his backyard. He also decides to walk barefoot. In the process, he steps on a small but sharp piece of glass. It does not get lodged into his skin, but he still gets a cut from it.


Naturally, one would feel the pain, discard the glass piece, and thoroughly clean the cut on the foot before dressing it with a bandage. With this man who likely has diabetic feet, he probably does not know that he stepped on a piece of glass. That is because there is damage to the nerves (peripheral neuropathy) from diabetes. In addition, he might have trouble placing his feet on the ground because he cannot feel where the ground is.


But it doesn't end there. An infection may occur where the cut is. It could be infection of the soft tissues (cellulitis) or even the bone itself (osteomyelitis). Diabetes impairs function of the immune system so that a diabetic is more prone to active infections than a nondiabetic. By this time, this man might finally look at his foot and notice some redness, swelling, or oozing from the wound. If not, he might seek medical attention when he has a fever or, with a more serious infection, a significant drop in blood pressure.


He can still take antibiotics for the infection, but what about healing of the wound? That might take some time. Diabetes causes impairment of blood circulation because of damage to the peripheral arteries (peripheral vascular disease). Perfusion of blood is an important factor in the process of wound healing. Now suppose his peripheral vascular disease worsens enough that his toes do not get any blood flow and die, resulting in gangrene. He would have to get them surgically amputated because they can be a source of infection later on.


If this continues, he might need amputations of the lower leg, either above or below the knee. Life will definitely change after an amputation, especially an amputation of both legs. Don't forget the other effects of diabetes. In the most severe case, uncontrolled diabetes leads to being a blind amputee on dialysis with an increased risk for cardiovascular events, like heart attack and stroke.


Preventive Measures

The preceding should be a reminder of what diabetes can do: worsening vision, kidney failure, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, peripheral vascular disease, peripheral neuropathy, and impaired immune system function. More importantly, it is a reminder about minimizing these effects with tight control of blood glucose levels. The importance of this cannot be overemphasized.


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Nursing Considerations of Peripheral Vascular Disease - Diabetes

Your nursing interventions should focus on providing foot care, monitoring your patient's response to the prescribed drugs and promoting circulation after surgery.

Foot Care

The primary goal of nursing care in patients with diabetes and peripheral vascular disease is to help reduce the risk of foot and leg amputations. Therefore, protect the patient's legs and feet from even minor traumas, which can lead to infection, ulcers, and ultimately loss of function.

Thoroughly assess your patient's legs and feet for signs of impaired skin integrity, such as pressure areas or skin tears. If your patient has peripheral or autonomic neuropathy, she may have decreased sensations of touch, pain, or temperature, so examine her legs and feet routinely for signs of breakdown. Check her pedal pulses, foot temperature, capillary refill, and skin color. Also, assess her for changes in feeling, such as numbness or tingling.

Provide your patient with meticulous foot care. To prevent pressure on her legs and feet, make sure she changes position every 2 hours and performs range-of-motion exercises, if possible. Wash her feet with warm water and mild soap, and dry them well, particularly between the toes. Inspect her feet and apply moisturizing cream every day but not between her toes. Use protective padding, foot cradles, or an alternating-pressure mattress to reduce the risk of pressure injuries. To prevent constriction and impaired circulation, don't use elastic antiembolism stockings.

Although your patient's activity may be restricted, make sure she wears appropriate foot­wear, even for short distances. Shoes or slippers that don't fit properly can cause further injury and lengthen her hospital stay.

Monitor your patient for signs and symptoms of wound infection, including redness, swelling, or foul-smelling, purulent drainage. Obtain a culture of any open or draining lesion, and begin antibiotic therapy as prescribed. If your patient is taking antibiotics, make sure she drinks at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid every day, and assess her renal function daily. Dress an infected wound with a wet-to-dry dressing and change it several times a day to achieve mechanical debridement. (Remember that the dressing helps lift off dead surface skin, which promotes new tissue growth.) If the wound isn't infected, dress it with an occlusive dressing that retains moisture and enhances cell migration and healing.

Drug Response

If your patient is taking pentoxifylline, check for headaches, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. Monitor her WBC count for signs of neutropenia. If she's taking ticlopidine, closely monitor her complete blood cell count and WBC differential for adverse effects, such as neutropenia. Also, evaluate her liver function tests for elevated alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels, which indicate liver dysfunction.

Postoperative Circulation

If your patient has a bypass graft, your primary goal after surgery is to promote and maintain circulation through the new grafts. So monitor the neurovascular status of her feet and legs. Immediately report signs or symptoms of graft occlusion, such as severe pain, loss of pulses, cold hands or feet, or new complaints of numbness or tingling.

Position your patient so that her knees aren't flexed, which might impair her circulation and compromise the potency of the graft. Also, make sure she doesn't sit in one position for a long period. Elevate the affected leg to reduce edema. Instruct her not to cross her legs and to avoid keeping the affected leg in a dependent position for a prolonged period.
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Diabetic Ketoacidosis and its complications

Diabetic Ketoacidosis is the most severe form of dehydration for an insulin dependent diabetic (Type I) but also in the non-insulin dependent diabetic (Type II experience HHS). Also know as DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) it can occur from a relative or absolute deficiency of insulin; demonstrated by hyperglycemia, dehydration, and acid producing derangements of metabolism; acidosis. This condition can present as a true emergency in the insulin dependent diabetic or to the person that did not know they had diabetes; only signs and symptoms of dehydration or malaise. The causes of DKA and hyperglycemia can result from infection, disruption of treatment, and as a result of new onset; typically characterized by having a blood sugar (BS) above 300mg/dL, low bicarbonate (<15mEq/L), and acidosis with a pH less than 7.30 and associated ketonemia and ketonuria. Some of the complications from DKA can be cerebral edema (the major cause of mortality and morbidity in DKA), renal failure, cardiac disturbances, pulmonary edema, or even acute gastric dilation. In order to understand how some of the signs and symptoms occur you need to look into a basic physiological process. The body uses many mechanisms to balance acid levels, energy levels, energy sources, and function which is termed maintaining homeostasis. When homeostasis is jeopardized the body tries to counteract and protect itself. However, when our internal mechanisms cannot maintain homeostasis any longer it requires medical treatment and intervention based on clinical (lab and diagnostic) studies. In the diabetic, more specifically DKA, conditions such as a silent MI, CVA, or thrombosis may contribute to the evolvement of DKA.

The primary mechanism behind DKA occurs when insulin is deficient, levels of glucagons elevate, catecholamines are stimulated and hepatic glucose production is increased. The response to this is a decrease in the uptake of insulin from the peripheral tissues. The bottom line is that there is elevated production of glucose and non-usage of the circulating peripheral glucose.

Insulin is the primary anabolic hormone which means that muscle, fat and the liver do not take up glucose. There are other hormones (counter regulatory) such as glucagon, growth hormone, and catecholamines which accelerate the triglyceride breakdown into free roaming fatty acids and stimulate gluconeogenesis. This causes an elevation in the blood glucose levels in DKA. A result of the oxidation of free fatty acids (in the liver) is the production of ketone bodies, the two primaries are beta hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetic acid, hence the term switching metabolism; changing from carbohydrate metabolism to fat metabolism.

During the metabolic mayhem, a metabolic acidosis prevails. This condition of acidosis depletes the fluid between and inside the cells of its acid buffers. As the body begins to lose its ability to buffer acidic conditions adequately it finds an alternate route to eliminate the ketones; via the urine (ketonuria). Subsequently when blood concentrations of glucose are exceedingly high, the ability of the kidney to absorb glucose is exceeded and the glucose begins to spill into urine waste (glycosuria). The resulting complication here is free water loss because of a condition known as osmotic diuresis which results in dehydration, thirst, low perfusion to tissues, and quite possibly lactic acidosis. This would explain a common set of symptoms called Poly, Poly, Poly…..Polyuria, Polydipsia, and Polyphagia.

Polydipsia comes from dehydration that is sensed by the hypothalamus because you are thirsty from the loss of water. Polyuria occurs because you are urinating so much from the body’s attempt to rid itself of the excess glucose and buffer the acidity of the blood. Polyphagia comes from the switching of metabolism, the body is requiring carbohydrates for energy and you just cannot use the energy source; a lack of insulin.

With the loss of free water and the existence of changes in the osmotic gradient the patient is at severe risk for a severe electrolyte imbalance. The primary electrolyte concerns are sodium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphate. Potassium loss occurs as a result of extraction from intracellular fluid to exchange for the hydrogen ion build up in the extracellular areas in order to help with the buffering process. The potassium loss continues through the urine because of the change in the osmotic gradient. Sodium is lost in a similar fashion but the initial hyponatremia present in evaluation is related to a dilutional process. Water is extracted into the extracellular space as well, creating the dilution and is lost via urinary excretion due to the osmotic gradient change. Magnesium and phosphorous are lost similarly. The most important of the mentioned electrolytes is potassium. The production of the ketone bodies, in abundance, will lead to general abdominal pain with nausea and vomiting contributing to further loss of sodium and potassium.

The goals of treatment are to reverse the rehydrate the body, correct the hyperglycemia, and replenish the loss of electrolytes. After initial identification and treatment you must find the underlying cause and further treat any of the potential complications; MI, CVA, cardiogenic shock, sepsis, and thrombus. IV fluid regimens will vary upon diagnostic and lab evaluation and ensure proper renal function. This would also be true for the levels of electrolyte losses. Additional complications will be treated as they are discovered.

In conclusion the patient with Type I diabetes or new onset of diabetes can be life threatening and is considered a true medical emergency. Early identification and intervention are necessary to prevent complications. Early identification consists of not only correcting the condition of hyperglycemia, hypovolemic, and electrolyte imbalances but more importantly the underlying cause. These causes can range from infection to organ dysfunction. Close monitoring of treatment effectiveness can reduce or eliminate the long term complications of cardiac disruption, sepsis, hypovolemic shock, and renal damage; consequences of cerebral edema also need to be considered.

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The Importance of Incorporating More Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diabetic Cooking

It is necessary to understand the right way to create a well balance diabetic cooking to prepare a nutritious meal for one suffering from diabetes. As one with diabetic condition, the body is slightly more fragile, and one needs to watch what one is eating in a meal. You cannot eat too heavy a meal or intake too much sugar as this will push up your blood sugar level, which is bad for you as your body cannot break down these foods easily. It is also important people with diabetes to eat more fruits and vegetables in their meal.
Although it is good for people with diabetes to eat more vegetables, you do not really need to take a totally vegetarian diet. A vegetarian diet can be high in carbohydrates, and can make normal blood sugar to fluctuate. By eating a vegetarian diet, you need to make sure that your carbohydrate level is in check. You also need to make sure you need to eat enough protein by eating food such as nuts, soybeans, or tofu. If you cannot change your diet to a vegetarian one, all you need to do is to add more fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for everyone as these foods contain more vitamins, minerals, and fiber which is good for the body. These nutrients can help protect the body from other diseases such as heart disease, stroke and hypertension. It can also help protect against cancer in many ways. So what are the foods that we should be including in diabetic cooking? It can be fruits and vegetables, grains such as bread, rice, pasta and cereal, and potatoes, and beans and peas. Other than eating more vegetables for healthy reasons, eating vegetables can also help reduce obesity.
Another reason why you need to eat more vegetables if you got diabetes is that the fiber you plant foods is good for people with Type II diabetes. Soluble fiber is an important ingredient in the control of blood glucose level in the body. It forms a gel inside the intestinal tract, which slow down carbohydrate absorption and reduce the increase in blood glucose and insulin level after a meal. Soluble fiber also leaves the stomach slower, hence it can cause one to feel full for a longer period of time and prevent one from eating too much or too many times.
So you see, when doing your diabetic cooking it is definitely good to put in more vegetables in your cooking. It is not only good for your diabetic condition, it is also good for your health in general. So start eating more leafs now to a healthier well being.
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Gestational Diabetes - How to Stay Healthy If You Have It

Gestational diabetes is a disease that only pregnant women get. If a woman never had diabetes before, then she has gestational diabetes.
The disease occurs in about 5 percent of all pregnancies.
Between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy your health care provider will test you for gestational diabetes if you are a woman with average risk. If your risk is higher-than-average, your health care provider may test you earlier.
Methods of testing include:
• The one-step approach: A woman will fast for 4 to 8 hours. The health care provider will measure her blood sugar and will do so again 2 hours after she drinks a sugar drink. The test is called "oral glucose tolerance test."
• The two-step approach: A health care provider measures a woman's blood sugar 1 hour after drinking a sugar drink. If the woman does not have gestational diabetes, the blood sugar will be normal after 1 hour. Women with high blood sugar after 1 hour will have an oral glucose tolerance test to see if the disease is present.
Does gestational diabetes affect the baby?
• Most women will give birth to healthy babies. This is especially true when they control their blood sugar, eat a healthy diet, exercise and keep a healthy weight.
Are there cases when it affects the pregnancy and baby?
• When the baby's body is larger than normal, it may need to be delivered by cesarean section
• If the baby's blood sugar is too low, starting to breastfeed right away can help get more glucose to the baby. Administering glucose through a tube into his or her blood may also be needed.
• Jaundice may occur in the infant
• A baby with low mineral levels in the blood
• The infant may have trouble breathing and need oxygen or other help (Respiratory Distress Syndrome)
How can a pregnant woman stay healthy and avoid problems in pregnancy and with the newborn?
• Know your blood sugar and keep it under control. Test your blood sugar to make it easier to keep it in a healthy range. You will probably need to test a drop of blood several times a day to find out your blood sugar level.
• Eat a healthy diet. Your health care provider can create a plan that is best for you. Controlling carbohydrates is usually an important part of a healthy diet for women with gestational diabetes.
• Get regular, moderate physical activity. Your health care provider can tell you the best activities and right amount for you.
• Keep a healthy weight. This will depend upon how much you weighed before pregnancy. Keep track of your overall weight gain and weekly rate of gain.
• Keep daily records of your diet, physical activity and glucose level. Keep a daily record book.
Write down blood sugar numbers, physical activity, and everything you eat and drink in your daily record book. This helps track how well the treatment is working and what, if anything, needs to be changed.
• You might need to take insulin
• You might have to test your urine for glucose levels.
After the baby is born, most women with gestational diabetes return to normal quickly. You should have a blood test to check blood sugar levels six weeks after the baby is born. This test will also check your risk of getting diabetes in the future.
If you want to get pregnant again, have a blood sugar test up to three months before becoming pregnant.
Children born to mothers with it are at a higher risk for obesity, abnormal glucose tolerance, and diabetes.
Women who have had gestational diabetes and children whose mothers had the disease are at higher lifetime risk for:
• Obesity
• And type 2 diabetes (lifestyle changes may help prevent type 2 diabetes)
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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Inside Info on Insulin

When insulin levels become too high...metabolic havoc ensues with elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes, and obesity all trailing in its wake." Dr. Michael Eades, Protein Power
The human pancreas produces a master metabolism hormone known as insulin which helps change the food we eat into fuel or energy for the cells. It stores glucose in the liver and helps the body reserve fat. If the beta cells of the pancreas do not produce enough insulin, it has to be taken by either injection or an insulin pump. It is more or less common knowledge that a low insulin level can cause some severe side affects including nervousness, shakiness, perspiration, dizziness, difficulty speaking, and feeling anxious or weak. If not treated, it can result in low blood sugar and/or a hypoglycemic coma.
On the other hand, when your insulin level is out of balance and consistently elevated, a long list of deadly complications are created.
Science has proven that excess insulin causes your body to lack in many vitamins and minerals. This deficiency is directly linked to and a cause of high blood sugar levels which if likewise not treated, may lead to a hyperosmolar hyperglycemic coma.
Excessive insulin secretion due to accidental or deliberate injection is dangerous and can be acutely life-threatening because blood levels of glucose drop rapidly and the brain becomes starved for energy. This drop in blood levels (insulin shock) can be explained in this way: when insulin levels are high, lots of cell glucose channels become open (travels rapidly) which results in the blood sugar level then dropping too low.
Excess insulin, which is stirred by eating extreme amounts of carbohydrates, is, in principal, to blame for the obesity so common these days. Because it oxidizes carbohydrates instead of fatty acids for energy, it indirectly stimulates buildup of fat in tissue.
Insulin is a cell proliferator, which means it helps cells multiply. So in the case of one cancer cell, high levels of insulin would cause that cell to grow and spread throughout the body. This would explain why studies show that one of the most common links to breast and colon cancers are high levels of insulin.
High levels of insulin have also shown to be one of the biggest causes of accelerated ageing in men which comes along with its own problems: cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and cancer.
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Here's How to Stop the Sugar - Rollercoaster Before You Develop Diabetes!

If someone stacked 110 2 pound bags of sugar on your kitchen table on January 1st, how long would you say it might take you to ingest all of it in the course of your normal diet? A couple of years? Five years? Longer? The fact is that in the United States, the per capita sugar consumption is three times that amount, per person, per year!
Sucrose, corn syrup, caramel color and fructose are all sugar in disguise. That's not to mention the cans of cola, ice-creams, and starch-based foods that we eat on a daily basis. Glucose is the bottom line - as far as your body is concerned only three major sources of carbohydrates exist in the normal human diet. They are sucrose (known popularly as cane sugar), lactose (found in milk) and starches (found in all non-animal foods - particularly the grains).
Starches, lactose and sugar are broken down into glucose molecules during digestion, and it is these molecules that are the major source of energy in our bodies. In the ordinary diet, which contains far more starches than all other carbohydrates combined, glucose represents more than 80 per cent of the final products of carbohydrate digestion, and glucose and fructose seldom represent more than 10% each of the products of carbohydrate digestion. So lose the crabs!
The consumption of sugar and refined starches is having a devastating effect on the world's population. It is a multi-faceted disorder and inflicts a tremendous economic burden on patients, families and health care providers.
Our blood sugar levels are governed by the hormone insulin, which is responsible for carrying glucose from the blood across the cell membrane and into the cells. If you don't have sufficient insulin, your cells will literally starve, due to a lack of glucose for energy production.
The glucose therefore remains in the blood, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. In the case of diabetics, the cause of these high blood sugar levels is either an inability to produce enough insulin (which is secreted by the pancreas), or a decrease in sensitivity of the body's cells to insulin. Insulin is designed to eliminate excess glucose in the bloodstream.
Consuming excessively large amounts of carbohydrates over extended periods of time means that the pancreas must produce more and more insulin to bring down the glucose level, causing the body to become "resistant" to the insulin. And, the higher the insulin, the more fat gets shoved into our fat cells for storage. Put simply, the body becomes resistant to the hormone insulin, due to long-term carbohydrate overload.
There are serious complications of Type II diabetes to every organ in the body if blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid (fat) levels are not adequately controlled. In addition to diabetes, the health problems that can result from elevated blood sugar levels include obesity, hormone imbalance, elevated blood pressure, low 'good' HDL cholesterol, and fatigue. Type II diabetics have a very high incidence of heart disease, and this is their main cause of death.
However, this can be prevented, or at least controlled, by taking great care to control blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid levels. A recent study reveals that high blood sugar boosts the levels of damaging free radicals Now, a recent study reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism shows that excess blood sugar may boost the production of free radicals - the byproducts of normal metabolism that have been linked to ageing and heart disease.
The implication is that it can be prevented by lifestyle measures, which include exercise and diet. But it's not just diabetics who should be worrying about their carbohydrate intake. We are all in danger of permanently damaging our bodies by carbohydrate overload. A healthy diet is the most important factor in controlling blood sugar levels.
How to take action today!
• Skip the white rice, white flour, potatoes and corn.
• Reduce or dilute fruit juices, especially from tropical fruits, and eat the whole fruit, but in moderation. Temperate fruits like apples and pears are a wiser choice.
• Never over-eat. Stop when you are no longer hungry. You really do not have to clean your plate (leftovers are "good things").
• Do eat high protein foods: meats, soy products, nuts, eggs and cheese.
• Look for products higher in fiber or with added fiber.
• If eating bread, go for whole grain products without added sugar. Read the labels on your food. Even most brands of tinned tomatoes contain sugar!
The rollercoaster effect of rising and sinking glucose levels in the blood have a huge impact on mood. Cut out starches and sugar and you'll lose weight, feel better, and have much more energy.
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Natural Treatment For Diabetes - How To Treat Diabetes Naturally

If you suffer from diabetes then you may be looking for the best natural treatments to take away your symptoms. Many traditional medications can have terrible side effects and so why suffer with them when you can gain relief from natural products?
Here you will find out the best natural products available today. Hopefully this will give you a better knowledge of the alternative treatments available and you will be able to make a decision to best suit you.
The Best Natural Treatments for Diabetes
If you are looking for the best natural treatments for diabetes then the first one you should know about is Food Therapy.
Food Therapy is best undertaken after consulting your doctor. It basically involves avoiding certain foods and eating plenty of others. Obviously being diabetic you should avoid foods such as refined sugar and biscuits. You should also avoid all processed foods and fried foods too. Then there are foods that are better limited such as red meat and caffeine and alcohol. You should especially avoid alcohol if you have an empty tummy because it can cause low blood glucose. Then finally there are the foods that you can eat and they include fruit and vegetables, wholegrain products and also drink plenty of water. Try to get a lot of fiber in your diet too as that will lower your body's need for insulin.
Taking part in regular exercise can also really help to reduce the effects of diabetes. It is a well known fact that being overweight is a big contributor to Diabetes Type 2.So by losing weight and staying healthy you will be successfully helping the body to deal with conditions such as Diabetes a lot better.
One natural treatment you might not have considered but which can be very effective is bitter melon. Bitter melon is great for treating diabetes because it contains a compound which is extremely like insulin. It will help to control the levels of sugar in the blood too which is obviously extremely beneficial.
Other herbal treatments you may find helpful include Cat's Claw which is regularly used to treat diabetes. It can be found in your local health food store. Another includes Pycnogenol, an antioxidant which does not affect insulin levels but which reduces the blood glucose levels. In France it is one of the top prescriptions used for diabetic retinopathy.
Overall, there are a number of natural treatments for diabetes available. The best of them however include a good diet and plenty of exercise.
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Monday, February 18, 2008

Researchers Find Links To Gestational Diabetes And ADD

Gestational diabetes is a metabolic condition that mimics type 2 diabetes. Women in their 24-28th week of pregnancy could develop insulin resistance, second to the increased hormones in their bodies. Insulin resistance means the body is unable to use sugar, the by-product of metabolism. Food is converted into products the cells can use, like sugar. It gets into the cells with the aid of insulin and is used for energy.

Increased hormones from pregnancy can make body cells resistant to insulin, leaving most of the sugar suspended in the blood stream.

Excess sugar could lead to complications at birth and afterwards, for both mother and child, when gestational diabetes is left untreated. The increase in sugar is transferred to the placental barrier and onto the developing child.

Research shows that excess sugar can lead to increased proliferation of beta-cells in the pancreas, which secretes insulin. Increased sugar could lead to babies being bigger than their normal gestational age and could lead to complications at birth or perhaps later on for the child.

After birth, children who are exposed to increased sugar, are at greater risk with low blood sugar as well as having breathing problems. There could also be long term effects for these children.

Researchers found links to neurological abnormalities, including gestational diabetes and ADD. Statistically these links seem less significant as children reach their teens. A study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood shows that children of diabetic mothers had lower IQ scores, were heavier under the age group of 9 and more scored abnormally in the Conners questionnaire (used to evaluate the presence of ADD).

Researchers determined that exposure to gestational diabetes increases the risk of long-term minor neurological deficits in children and was more pronounced during their early years.

Research, published in 2005 in Pediatric Endocrinology Review, concluded that mothers with poor glycemic control and gestational diabetes gave birth to children who performed less well in fine and gross motor functions had a higher rate of inattention, delayed brain maturity and hyperactivity and that gestational diabetes can adversely affect the growth of the baby, both before and after birth. However it did not affect their cognitive ability.

A third study published in Sweden found that children of women with gestational diabetes had an increased risk of hospitalization for developmental disorders and neurological problems .

Gestational diabetes and ADD are inexplicably linked when women are not able to maintain good levels of glycemic control during pregnancy. The reasons are not clear. Several theories exist that children who are exposed to large amounts of insulin and sugar prenatally, are also at an increased risk of altered hormonal problems and obesity.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Diabetes and High Blood Pressure

Did you know that people with diabetes are more likely to be overweight and have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. A good percentage of overweight people are likely to have a few metabolic problems at once, this in turn can lead to other problems like heart disease. The term Cardiometabolic Risk means that if you have one of these problems you are at higher risk of having others. If you feel you are overweight it is best to go and check yourself out at you local G.P. and see if you have any of the following problems:

High Blood Pressure - high blood pressure and diabetes have always been linked together. If you have high blood pressure you are more likely to get heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. At least 35% of people with diabetes have high blood pressure.

Blood fats - Your body stores fat for future energy. A lot of these fats are good for the body but fats such as Triglycerides can lead to a heart attack if levels are to high.

Insulin resistance - Insulin helps the cells in the body to use sugar, Insulin resistance occurs when the cells no longer respond well to insulin.

Obesity - If you are overweight you are more likely to get type 2 diabetes. A body mass index of 25 is considered overweight, a BMI of 30 is considered obese.

If you have pre-diabetes and are afraid of developing type 2 diabetes there is some good news. You will have to make some changes though, your diet will have to change as well as doing more exercise. By having a better diet and doing 30 minutes a day of light exercise you are likely to make a 60% reduction in your chance of getting type 2 diabetes. A good nutritional diet is best, by eating healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables, whole grain foods, dried beans, fish, light meats, non-fat dairy products and lots of water, this will help reduce the risk. Base your diet around these foods and as always eat in moderation, eat to much of anything and you are going to gain weight.

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Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Unfortunately there is little you can do to prevent Type 1 Diabetes, but there are lots of things to help prevent Type 2.

First let's see if you are predisposed to get Diabetes.

• Are you over weight? Is so; is most of it around your mid section?
• Do you have parents that have Diabetes? One or Both.
• Do you have siblings that have Diabetes?
• Do you have other relatives that have Diabetes?
• Do you eat a diet high in carbohydrates? Rice, potatoes, Breads, Pasta, Sugary foods like candies, donuts, breads, Breakfast cereals, milk, sugary drinks like fruit juices, sodas or heavy sugar in drinks like coffee or ice tea.
• The Carbs you do eat, are they high on the GI index or low?
• Do you eat a low fiber diet? Less than 20g's a day.
• Do you eat lots of fried foods? Ore than once a week.
• Do you eat lots of sugary fruits like Bananas, Oranges and apples?
• Do you have a fairly sedimentary life style? An office job verses a construction job. Lack of exercise after work.
• Do you have a high stressed lifestyle?
• Do you smoke an drink to much (1-2 day max)
• Do you take good supplements daily?

If you answer yes to most of these questions then you are predisposed to get Type 2 Diabetes.

Next you want to be tested for Diabetes? A simple blood test will tell. They do 2 kinds, a fasting blood glucose test with a meter and the A1C test.

If the meter test shows 110 or more after a 12 hour fasting you are pre-diabetic. This is a huge HEADS-UP! Make some changes today, and I mean drastic changes.

The A1C will give you an average of your blood sugar for the past 3 months.

Your Doctor will go over the A1C test with you, but if it is a little on the high side and you have answered yes to most of the above questions, you need to make some drastic lifestyle changes now! And I do mean now.

Do what ever you can to answer NO to the above questions.

If you do this soon enough and drastic enough you can avoid of greatly extent the time before come Diabetic a risk the REAL POSSIBILITIES of Blindness, amputations, kidney failures, liver failure, stroke and heart attacks.

Type 1 diabetes risk is known to depend upon a genetic predisposition based on HLA types, an unknown environmental trigger (most likely an infection), and an uncontrolled autoimmune response that attacks the insulin producing beta cells. Some research suggested that breastfeeding decreased the risk. Various other nutritional risk factors are being studied, but no firm evidence has been found.

Type 2 diabetes risk can be reduced in many cases by diet changes and increased physical activity. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends the following preventative measures:

Ø Maintain a healthy weight. This is the biggest issue if you are over weight by 10 or more pounds. It can not be stressed enough to loss the weight or gain it if you are under weight. Most Type 2 is a case of insulin resistance cause or amplified by being over weight.

Ø Exercise at least 2½ hours each week-a brisk walk is sufficient.
Ø Have a modest fat intake
Ø Eat a good amount of fiber and whole grains.

Other possible preventative measures:

Ø Moderate alcohol intake, though heavy consumption significantly increases damage to body systems.
Ø Certain medications. For example, the incidence of diabetes was reduced by 77% in patients taking hydroxychloroquine for rheumatoid arthritis.
Ø Breastfeeding.
Ø Vitamin B-3 (niacin). Children with antibodies treated with vitamin B-3 had less than half the onset of diabetes incidence in a seven-year time span as the general population.
Ø Build muscles. Muscles use more sugar than fat so the more muscles you have the more sugar you burn, that means less sugar in your blood stream.

I you are over weight, the Single most import thing you can do is to achieve your proper weight. This can not be stressed enough. Being over weight KILLS. Even 10 pounds is not good if you are predisposed to becoming Diabetic. If you are more than 50 pounds over weight, you are obese and must loss weight now.

Weight loss programs, muscles building programs, exercising programs along with true diet and lifestyle changes are require.

Please do research on Type 2 Diabetes, learn about many possible cures and start in on a good nutritional program.

Improve your overall health.

Bottom line is; Diabetes is a horrifying disease with some of the worst side effects you can imagine like blindness, amputations, kidney and liver failure, strokes heart attacks and even death.

You DO NOT want Diabetes; start today to do anything and everything you can do to prevent it.

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Disease Prevention

Disease Prevention

With so-called "lifestyle" diseases on the rise, medical doctors and insurance companies alike are looking to find new ways to maintain health and prevent and control diseases. With obesity reaching epidemic proportions, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction to combat the trend. Health providers are now looking more closely at diet and exercise as a way to prevent disease.

Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is important for several reasons. Maintaining health through diet and exercise can help to prevent loss of bone mass and vitamin deficiency. A healthy diet also helps to prevent diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, osteoporosis, some cancers and obesity. A healthy diet can also help to treat and control diseases like lupus, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease and mellitus.

The body runs on a series of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals to sustain healthy organ function. Vitamins and minerals are critical to the body and are necessary for proper growth and proper functioning of systems inside the body.

With obesity and heart disease on the rise, they are a major public health issue for the United States and other countries. Many of the dietary recommendations nowadays are aimed at the preventing these two diseases. Obesity occurs when a person eats more calories than the body burns off. When obesity becomes chronic, then other diseases start to develop such as heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, just to name a few.

Losing weight requires that people take in more low energy-dense foods. These foods include vegetables and fruits. Foods like this contain few calories per unit so a person can consume large volumes without taking in many calories. High energy-dense foods like sweets, fried foods and foods containing trans fats. These foods have high cholesterol and saturated fat content which has been linked to heart disease. Avoiding processed foods is also recommended as well as a regular exercise routine.

In 2005, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a new guideline detailing changes in the dietary recommendations for Americans. The new guidelines emphasize more fruit, vegetable, whole grains and lean meats. There also should be close attention paid to saturated fats and added sugars.

Eating healthy nowadays is more complicated than ever. We are often victims of our own convenient society that we've forgotten how to listen to our bodies and our own instincts for health. In our highly industrialized and technical world we've gotten away from knowing where food comes from. These guidelines are one voice in the din of many. I hope that we may all choose to listen more carefully.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

What is a Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan?

What is a Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan?
High blood sugar levels during pregnancy are the primary cause of gestational diabetes. The health and development of the fetus as well as the health of the mother can be seriously affected by this type of diabetes. For most women gestational diabetes is a condition that occurs only during pregnancy. Once the baby is born this form of diabetes goes away. For a small percentage of women this is a warning sign that they may be at risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. Managing this dangerous disease starts with a gestational diabetes diet plan.
Pregnant women need to be routinely screened during their second trimester for this disease. By catching it at its outset its negative impacts on the mother and fetus can be mitigated. Uncontrolled it can cause a number of complications including pregnancy-induced hypertension, premature birth, large fetus size, congenital abnormalities, future obesity and diabetes in the infant, and complications during birth.
To control this form of diabetes it is essential that the mother make changes to her diet, many of which she may not be used to. Lifestyle requirements based on metabolic nutrition is the way this is accomplished. The first thing to be done is a reduction in the amount of simple sugars being eaten. These include refined white sugar and syrups.
Complex carbohydrates are used to replace the simple sugars. Vital nutrients including carbohydrates must be balanced through out the day. A registered dietician is an important resource for implementing a gestational diabetes diet plan. This dietary specialist can help pregnant women with their food choices through the use of exchange lists.
Used as a basic tool for almost all food guides and dietary recommendations for diabetes, exchange lists were first created to help diabetics with their meal planning. Carbohydrate counting has also started to see more use as a way of controlling the complications of diabetes. Keeping track of carbohydrates eaten is the strength of this system.
It is important for any woman with this type of diabetes to rely on her health care team to manage this disease. Doctors, nurses, and dieticians will need to take into account the physical, psychosocial, and educational needs of their patient when implementing a diabetic diet plan.
The main responsibility for creating and teaching the individualized gestational diabetes diet plan rests with the woman's dietician. Her nurses must reinforce these dietary changes and are responsible for showing her how to self monitor her blood sugar levels as well as how to self administer insulin if it is prescribed. A team approach between the pregnant woman and her health care team is vitally important in managing this serious condition and doing so will mitigate the risks it poses.
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Natural Medicine For Diabetes - Natural Diabetes Medicine Tips

Natural Medicine For Diabetes - Natural Diabetes Medicine Tips
If you suffer from Diabetes and you would like to try out natural treatments for the condition, then luckily you have quite a few options to choose from.
There are quite a few different natural medicines for Diabetes available today and more and more people are turning to them for help due to the change in attitude that has occurred regarding conventional medicines. But do these natural medicines actually work?
The Best Natural Medicines for Diabetes
The main reason why people's attitudes towards conventional medicine have changed is because as time has gone on, more and more side effects have been found. Natural treatments do not pose any threat to your health and in some countries they are given on prescription to Diabetes sufferers. Their effectiveness has been proven and thousands of people suffering from Diabetes have recommended numerous natural medicines for the condition.
One type of natural medicine for Diabetes which proves to be extremely effective are herbs. Bitter Melon in particular is one of the most commonly used to help to treat Diabetes. It is otherwise known as "Balsam Pear" and it is mainly found in South America, Asia and Africa. The reason it is so effective in treating Diabetes is because it helps to lower the blood sugar levels. It is the juice of the plant which really helps to lower the blood sugar and it also has a compound similar to insulin within it too. However, if you do choose to use Bitter Melon to treat Diabetes then the main thing to keep in mind is that if taken in too high a dose, it can bring on abdominal pains as well as diarrhea.
Onion and garlic are also commonly used to help to lower the blood sugar in Diabetes sufferers. It is the Allyl Propyl Disulphide (APDS) in the garlic and onion that really helps. This is because APDS fights for insulin-inactivating sites within the liver and that helps to free up insulin within the body. Even a low dosage of onion extract can really help Diabetes sufferers so it is definitely worth considering as a natural medicine for Diabetes.
Finally another herb which has proven to be extremely useful in the treatment of Diabetes is blueberry leaves. Now blueberry leaves have been used for years to help to treat Diabetes naturally. It is thought that they contain a compound which is weaker than insulin but a lot less toxic. This compound is known as Myrtillin and just one single dose of the compound can give benefits for up to one week.
There are a number of natural medicines which you can use to help to treat diabetes. All are said to be extremely effective. Since they do not cause any health problems, it is definitely worth trying them out to see if they could help you.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hypoglycemia - What It Is and 7 Ways To Control It

Hypoglycemia - What It Is and 7 Ways To Control It
Maintaining blood glucose at the right level at all times is especially important for the brain. While most tissues can cope with a drop in the availability of glucose, by turning to alternative fuel sources, the brain and the eye retina cannot.
Glucose Levels to Aim For
Normal fasting blood glucose level is around 80-90 mg/100 ml, one hour after a meal blood glucose goes as high as 130 mg/100 ml., and is then brought back to normal fasting level again as glucose enter the cells. In diabetes and hypoglycemia, low blood sugar levels occur when blood glucose levels drop below the normal fasting range of 80-90 mg/100 ml., and symptoms such as sweating, tremors, rapid heart beat, anxiety, irritability and hunger appears.
In a normal case when blood glucose climb after a meal, this signals the pancreas to secrete insulin. The pancreatic hormone insulin functions as a doorman by opening cells so glucose can enter, as this happens, the circulating blood glucose level drops back to normal fasting range.
Cells Bored With Insulin
In cases of hypoglycemia, cells become desensitized or "bored" with a continuous stimulation of insulin, and the glucose can't enter as fast as it should. This keeps a high level of glucose circulating longer, and the pancreas keeps pumping out more insulin than is really needs.
When the insulin finally opens the cells and the glucose enters, too much insulin is around with the consequence that too much glucose leaves the circulation and enters the cells. When this happens the glucose level drops below the normal fasting range and symptoms of low blood sugar occurs.
Carbohydrate metabolism is a complex dynamic relationship between pancreas, its hormones and the organs that respond to them, such as the liver and the adrenal glands.
Reasons for Hypoglycemia
There is more than one possible cause behind this condition, but the most obvious reason for hypoglycemia and type II diabetes is a diet too high in refined sugars, processed foods and high glycemic index foods. High glycemic foods are foods that enter the blood stream quickly, causing a rapid rise in glucose levels. Other substances that cause a rise in blood sugar levels are caffeine, alcohol, chocolate and soft drinks.
If the pancreas is continuously pumping out insulin, due to a diet that keeps the blood sugar soaring, it will eventually become sluggish. The response of a sluggish pancreas becomes delayed, leading the blood sugar to rise too high followed by a too deep drop after a meal.
A properly functioning liver should be able to release stored glucose as the circulation levels fall. For this to take place the liver cannot be too exhausted by its other duties. A liver taxed by a heavy load to detoxify from a diet high in fats, processed foods, preservatives, and other toxins, or just from sheer volume by overeating, will not be able to respond to glucose variations as it should.
The adrenal glands also play a role in carbohydrate metabolism. A sudden drop of glucose below fasting level causes an alarm-response release of adrenaline, preparing the body for an emergency situation. The adrenaline stimulates the cells and liver to return glucose to the circulation, but also causes pallor, sweating, anxiety, tremor and increased heart rate. These are unpleasant symptoms and an indication that the body is compensating and returning blood glucose to a normal level by using a stress hormone.
Stress and the release of stress hormones for whatever reason, will cause blood sugar to rise. One of the stress hormones is cortisol, it also functions as anti-inflammatory in the body. This means that, aside from stress, any source of chronic inflammation will cause its release. Dysbiosis (inflammation of the gut) is a major cause of chronic low-grade inflammation, and will cause a continual cortisol release, destabilizing blood sugar. Candidiasis is an imbalance of a naturally occurring yeast in the gut. Candida thrives on sugar and often goes with a dysbiosis, creating sugar cravings and possibly a poor diet.
Hypoglycemia is quite easy to control by applying some or all of the following: diet therapy, supplementation, support of pancreas, liver and adrenals, treatment of gut inflammation (dysbiosis) and candidiasis, lifestyle changes such as stress reduction, weight loss and regular exercise.
How to Control Hypoglycemia 1. Meals should be small and frequent.
2. Avoid or limit refined foods, sugary foods, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate and soft drinks.
3. Learn about glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL), and choose foods that have a GI below 55-60 and a GL below 12-15.
4. Fiber is important in the diet, especially water-soluble forms of fiber as it has the most beneficial effect on blood sugar. This type of fiber is capable of slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Good sources are beans, nuts, seeds, pears, apples and most vegetables.
5. The ratio of complex carbohydrates to proteins and fat varies for each individual depending on typologies. Many hypoglycemics are carbohydrate addicts and need a diet, at least to start, that is low in carbs and high in protein and fats. By adding protein to a meal it slows the gastric emptying and lowers the glycemic index of the whole meal. In general, people who are sensitive to insulin should not have carbohydrate only meals, always adding protein and fat.
6. These vitamins and minerals play important role in carbohydrate metabolism.Recommended dosage per day:Chromium 200-400 mcg, B5 (Pantothenic acid) 25-100 mg in a B-complex, vitamin C 2000-4000 mg and zinc 15-30 mg. To reach these levels top up a good quality multi vitamin that absorbs well.
7. To further aid digestion, digestive enzymes or herbal stomach bitters can be taken. There are different kinds of digestive enzymes available; some contain hydrochloric acid and even bile in addition to enzymes to break down carbs, proteins and fat. Herbal stomach bitters aid digestion by stimulating the pancreas to produce more of its own digestive enzymes.
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